Ryan Braun lawsuit is getting personal

Ryan Braun will probably forever be labeled a cheater — except by fans in the Milwaukee area — after getting caught up in Major League Baseball’s Biogenesis scandal. But now he’s being asked to label himself a whole lot more.

In addition to his baseball problems, Braun is being sued by former friend Ralph Sasson for defamation. Sasson is alleging a number of things, but the story is essentially that Sasson, a law student, was hired by Braun and his lawyer to dig up the information that eventually led to the overturning of Braun’s initial suspension for a positive PED test in 2011. However, Braun only paid up after Sasson made threats to reveal information, and then Sasson alleges that Braun defamed him to mutual friends.

Now Sasson may be using some of his personal knowledge against Braun.

So, here’s a quick legal primer: Before a civil trial begins, there is a time called the “discovery” process, where both parties try to obtain evidence from each other through a number of means. One of the ways parties can obtain information is through a “request for admissions,” a set of statements for the opposing party to either confirm or deny. Lying in response to a request for admissions can be a precedent for a perjury charge.

In the request for admissions that Sasson has sent to Braun, which is filed with the court and thus publicly available, Sasson makes a number of interesting charges. Among the accusations Sasson is trying to get Braun to admit to are that Braun has used PEDs since college, that he "violated NCAA rules of amateurism by accepting substantial cash and check payments," that he’s engaged in "academic misconduct" and even that he lied to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to preserve their business agreement.

There’s also the accusation that Braun “engaged in infidelities in every amorous relationship” he’s had, including with his current fiancee, Larisa Fraser.

Sasson’s accusations against Braun are extremely personal in nature, but he may be making them to call Braun’s character into question. Since this is a civil matter (having a lower threshold of proof), character may be an important issue in proving defamation.